Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Sickle repair

A while back, I bought a broken sickle from the tip shop. The blade was in good condition and not twisted. The reason that the sickle was at the tip shop was that the tang was broken and the handle was long gone.

When I got it home, I beat out a new tang for the blade and welded it on, then ground it down (roughly) … and then it stayed in my shed for a while.

On the weekend, I did some mowing with my ride-on Husqvarna. I just went around the paddock fence line so that I would have an easier time of putting up the new fence. I also cut around the chicken coop so that the chooks could scratch up some insects.

As the goats hadn’t been out, I decided that I’d cut the grass closer to the coop than the mower could get … and that I’d use the sickle.

I honed the blade to a nice sharp edge and then went to town on the long grass, cutting it and dropping the cuttings into the wheelbarrow. Of course, not having a handle on the sickle gave my hand a pretty hard time … and before long, my hand was bleeding from the rough parts of the tang gouging my finger.

Enough was enough! Last night I took the sickle back to the shed and cut a new 2 piece handle from some spare cedar and then I cut some 5/32 brass rod to make some rivets. I cut the cedar on the band saw and then I drilled three holes in the tang and matched the tang holes with holes in the handle blanks. I gave the handle a rough shaping with my bastard rasp and then set the rivets (that just means I hammered the rivets until they were flush and then used the centre punch to finish them off, rivets in handles don’t need to be mushroomed, just thickened a little). Then I rasped at the handle some more until I got the shape that I wanted, then it was onto the sandpaper.


The place that my finger was taking the most damage from was the 90o angle between the blade and the tang, so the new handle is cut to ease this into a soft radius. I also shaped the handle so that it fit the curve of my hand better. Later on, I’ll rub some linseed oil into the wood … but that isn’t all that necessary.


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